Living in an Apartment During the School Year

It’s here, everyone. The long-awaited school year is here and it is cold. Well, not cold exactly, a bit brisk. Whatever it is, my walk to work/dash for the bus always seems to remind me that I wore the wrong clothes that day. But you know what? That’s okay. Because I had a nice morning with my roommates eating breakfast in my new (to us) apartment!

Living in an apartment this year, it is exciting. At first, I was a little worried about how it would work out in terms of food and shower time and taking out the garbage and all of the other little things that go with living with others—not in a dorm— but luckily we’re all pretty chill, clean, casual people. What I did not expect, however, is the amount of time just living in an apartment takes up.

Food is no longer a quick 20 to 30 minute trip to the Ike, it’s a 20 minute walk home, plus a 40 to 60 minute adventure with the stove/oven/chopping board, and finally a meal. All in all, it can take at least 90 minutes between my last class at 3:15 p.m. and having dinner ready for the night. Maybe I just take a long time cooking. Maybe I’m a slow walker. But from what I learned during the summer, it is worth it to make a lot of food at once and eat it for a few meals.

Bacon is an important part of many meals

However, I do love coming home to a fridge full of food that I picked out. My roommates and I have an excessive amount of vegetables right now, and I’m taking advantage of Meijer’s fruit sales. My roommate Jamie and I roasted marshmallows over the stove after an impulsive trip to County Market, something we could never do in the dorms.

We also have the time, access, and unlimited meals to eat breakfast every morning, rather than counting each meal and deciding what to buy at 57 on the way to class. My other roommate, Rafa, who has always appreciated breakfast, has the opportunity to make whatever he wants and eat however much he wants.

The only thing that would make breakfast better is a butter robot

There is a lot more upkeep in an apartment than in the dorms, though. Cleaning is up to you and there’s a kitchen, living space, bathroom and your own bedroom to maintain. Whereas in the dorms, everything is cleaned pretty frequently for you, with the exception of your room. On top of cooking, cleaning detracts from the free time that could once be spent doing homework or other exciting things, making time management an important part of living in an apartment.

Exactly how I clean the apartment

I’m still figuring out my schedule with work, the newspaper, and my classes, but my lesson has been to start the day early and spend weekend mornings doing necessary apartment things. Last Saturday, my roommates and I woke up around 7 a.m. to go to the grocery store. It sounds too early, and when I woke up it kind of was, but if anything I think it gave me some energy to wake up and get things done.

Then you have more time to do fun things with your roommates! Like watching Rick and Morty, or watercoloring randomly, or growing green onions, or staining wood on the balcony. Really, the benefits of living with friends and having your own space are pretty amazing.

My watercolor that pales in comparison to the googled watercolor I tried to copy

All in all, I would suggest living in an apartment, for at least a year. Just remember to manage your time well, find people that you can live well with, and prepare for the fun you’ll have.

If you have any apartment questions, feel free to comment below and I’ll do my best to answer them!

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